Whether you believe the music industry to be thriving or dying, everyone can probably agree that there is no shortage of musicians in New York City. In Brooklyn alone, any night of the week offers a countless variety of live performances in all styles. Regardless of how many years these performers have been playing, their level of raw talent, or “who they know”, a single factor determines how they are received by an audience: rehearsal.
Think of the last show you saw. Did it blow your face off in awe? Put tears into your eyes? Or did it put a huge smile on your face? You feel such emotions because the musicians have practiced diligently, and are invested in their own perfection. These artists have been booking rehearsal spaces all over NYC, often traveling across hell’s half acre, hoping to find a room that sounds good. Or, with less idealism, just the most affordable option to practice regularly.
There are a few things that just make you stop dead in your tracks and smile. Maybe you’re even in a hurry, rushing along down the street, and then that wondrous sound comes to your ears – a voice and some sweet strums of an instrument playing a favorite song of yours. I’ve always thought musicians are to a neighborhood what fish are to a stream – an indicator of health and liveliness. If you can walk around for a whole day and not see anyone walking down the sidewalk carrying an instrument or sharing a song, you might want to think twice about what that says about the creative vitality of the place. Luckily for us, Greenpoint is full of musicians, and so today’s photo essay honors these minstrels and everyday suppliers of soul.
We are very excited to announce that the Brooklyn Night Bazaar will open at it’s new location in Greenpoint, beginning Friday, November 1st at 6PM. Admission is free!
Inspired by the night markets across Asia, Brooklyn Night Bazaar is back and now it has a permanent home! The Brooklyn Night Bazaar will bring together more than 100 of New York City’s most creative independent vendors, musicians, chefs, artists, breweries and wineries. The combined night market, art fair, food festival and music venue will take place every Friday and Saturday night starting November 1st. The Night Bazaar will be held at 165 Banker Street, between Norman and Meserole Avenues at a 24,000 sf warehouse with large-scale light installations and an A/V performance venue designed by Nuit Blanche New York (NBNY).
This year, a host of media, music blogs and record labels will take the reigns of music curation, including Gothamist, BuzzFeed, BUST Magazine, Paste Magazine, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Panache Booking, Scenic NYC, Impose, MyFreeConcerts.Com, The Deli, T-Presents, Insound, Kanine Records, FatCat Records, Bunce, Bad Blood Records and Songza. Some of this year’s featured music acts include: Spank Rock, Bear Hands, Kitty Pryde, Frankie Rose, Slow Knights (feat Del Marquis of SCISSOR SISTERS), Small Black, Psychic TV, and more to be announced shortly.
The Bazaar will feature multiple activity spaces, including a 9 hole mini golf courseand table tennis room. PUMA flew in Brazilian graffiti artist SILKS to canvass the table tennis space in a former enormous walk in freezer.
For the 3rd year in a row, the Bazaar will again be open and free to the public.
Brooklyn Band Field Mouse recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of their debut album. We caught up with singer/guitarist Rachel Browne about crowdsourcing, the band’s evolution, and the Brooklyn scene.
Miracles of Modern Science aren’t the sort of band who can be easily shelved alongside most of the oh-so-hip acts that populate your average indie bar or club in Greenpoint on any given night. Consisting of an upright bassist, a mandolinist, a violinist, a cellist, and a drummer, Miracles of Modern Science focus their string-heavy pop music on subjects as diverse as technology’s effect on our brains and outer space, and act as a nerdy antidote to the sometimes shabby and sloppy bands of Brooklyn. Joshua Hirshfeld, MoMS’ mandolinist, was happy to answer a few questions about how both the band and Greenpoint stand out from the norm.
New York is an amazing place to see music, no matter the time of year but in October, CMJtakes over and makes it truly overwhelming. The weeklong music festival begins tomorrow -10/16 thru 10/20, so it’s time to get your schedule organized.
To make it easier on you, we’ve assembled a list of our top picks for the week as well as a playlist to get you in the mood. Since the schedule for the week is quite unruly, be sure to check out your favorite band’s websites by clicking on their name below, or visit the official CMJ schedule here. Also, be sure to check out two of Greenpointers exclusive CMJ parties.
Now queue up your Spotify to enjoy our playlist below and freshen up on your band info before the shows!
Alex Winston: She is a classically trained opera singer who has surprisingly quirky voice when she does indie, but it works. Also writes songs with questionable content about Elvis.
Beacon: A Greenpoint duo consisting of Thomas Mullarney III and Jacob Gossett. They make dark, moody songs that are exactly the kind of music I want to listen to when I need to decompress after a really shitty day at work.
Bertrand Burgalat: This is fun. Remember when one of your friends first played you Serge Gainsbourg? You can kind of relive it here. I imagine he would be incredibly fun to see live and apparently he has not played NYC in 10 years.
Blue Hawaii: This band features a member who composes one half of the band, Braids. A bit dark, a bit light and airy, Blue Hawaii makes really beautiful music that sounds warm and makes you feel like you are crawling into a fleece-lined hammock on a beach at night.
Last night I was really excited to meet a dynamic duo, Kiri and Heidi, who are leaders of a huge network of pro-feminist musicians, artists and activists called Permanent Wave. Earlier this year I attended a show booked by these gals at Death By Audio, a DIY all ages venue in Williamsburg. The show was a benefit for Right Rides, which offers women and LGBTQ individuals a free, safe, late night ride home on weekends. Talented local bands fronted by lady musicians jammed in the packed space with an upbeat and positive crowd.
It’s all about collaboration. According to their mission statement, Permanent Wave seeks “to challenge gender inequality as it manifests itself in art, politics, and our personal lives” with the belief that, “women should see each other as collaborators and inspirations, not rivals.” Right on, ladies! This plays itself out when booking as an organization, explained Kiri, rather than just trying to book your own band at a venue. Strength in numbers. Continue reading →
Last Wednesday, The Rapture and Tanlines hit the stage for the first Vans House Party of the year. Presented by FYF, each show is free with an online RSVP, open to all ages of the public, and hosted at the House of Vans, a 25,000 square foot warehouse at 25 Franklin St. For those of you who don’t know, the Vans House Parties are the greatest event ever- well, at least the best event that I’ve been to in Greenpoint all year.
Make sure to show up early, because the line gets a bit long (it stretched all the way to N 11th). But don’t worry, once you’ve waited out the line there are some incredible rewards waiting for you.